Why these books? I personally believe there is an element of truth in all science fiction. Maybe not as written, but the concepts upon which they are written.

1984. For those who have not read this rather sick and twisted version of a future no one wants to be a part of. It is a cult classic, science fiction tale of extrapolation of the worst possible scenario that could happen. At least in my humble opinion. I enjoyed reading it as I have many other great piece of literature. It was masterfully written, enveloping, and although I don’t believe we will live to see this happen, I do see some inklings of things that niggle.

Regardless of how folks feel about the book itself, there are some amazing quotes from George Orwell’s 1984 that we all should be aware of.

The mantra of INGSOC presented by the “Ministry of Truth”:


Two particularly interesting paragraphs at the beginning of the book speak about the signs everywhere with the black-mustachio’d face gazing right into your eyes from everywhere, with the words, “BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU” as a caption. He also indicated the police patroled in helicopters peering in homes, but they didn’t matter, it was only the “Thought Police” that mattered.

Winston, the main character, was trying to remain, what he considered to be sane in the midst of insanity around him where truth was lies, and lies were truth, and truth was only what they were told it was.

He began to write his thoughts down in a hidden book, hidden, at least he thought it was hidden, from the “Thought Police.”

There were televisions in each home, but these televisions were two way -receivers and transmitters of both audio and video – and you never knew when they would be ‘tuned’ into your particular television. Something that would be unnerving to anyone.

His first words in his journal was the date April 4th, 1984 and after some thoughts, he began to madly write thoughts down. Then after some ‘normal’ everyday things happened, including strange mind control rallies where everyone was ‘encouraged’ to take part. Winston sat in his little ‘apartment’ and after realizing that “only the “Thought Police” would read what he wrote before they wiped it out of existence and out of memory. He wondered how you could appeal to the future when not a trace of you, not even an anonymous word scribbled on a piece of paper, could physically survive.” He began writing again,

To the future or to the past, to a time when thought is free, when men are different from one another and do not live alone–to a time when truth exists and what is done cannot be undone:
From the age of uniformity, from the age of solitude, from the age of Big Brother, from the age of doublethink–greetings!

After some rather morbid contemplation, he wrote again:

Thoughtcrime does not entail death: thoughtcrime was death.

He knew first hand how someone could be wiped out; his job was part of the process of rewriting history to reflect the current needs of ‘the Party.’

It is really a very sad story of a man, driven quite mad by the insane life forced upon him and the insane thinking forced upon him by the ‘Party.’

There was no freedom, no true living, no hope.

One final thought from the book, toward the end of the book in one interview with O’Brien, who apparently is trying to convince Winston of the ‘Party’ truth’…

O’Brien was looking down at him speculatively. More than ever he had the air of a teacher taking pains with a wayward but promising child.

‘There is a Party slogan dealing with the control of the past,’ he said. ‘Repeat it, if you please.’

‘”Who controls the past controls the future: who controls the present controls the past,”‘ repeated Winston obediently.

‘”Who controls the present controls the past,”‘ said O’Brien, nodding his head with slow approval. ‘Is it your opinion, Winston, that the past has real existence?’

Again the feeling of helplessness descended upon Winston. His eyes flitted towards the dial. He not only did not know whether ‘yes’ or ‘no’ was the answer that would save him from pain; he did not even know which answer he believed to be the true one.

O’Brien smiled faintly. ‘You are no metaphysician, Winston,’ he said. ‘Until this moment you had never considered what is meant by existence. I will put it more precisely. Does the past exist concretely, in space? Is there somewhere or other a place, a world of solid objects, where the past is still happening?’


‘Then where does the past exist, if at all?’

‘In records. It is written down.’

‘In records. And—-?’

‘In the mind. In human memories.’

‘In memory. Very well, then. We, the Party, control all records, and we control all memories. Then we control the past, do we not?’

In our current world of ‘political correctness’, and the wishing to do away with a past that might bother some folks, where wonderful technologies are being created, and used by, or made use of by, massive companies who in turn make use of agencies to control them, and by association, those who make use of them – Well, that could make something ‘like’ these scifi scenarios, like 1984 and others, or the equally unacceptable future in the Max Headroom scifi television series, actually come to pass some day in the future…

This book along with so many other great scifi books really do have some (hopefully) twisted elements of truth in them, but they are still very interesting. Science Fiction is the mind out to play, searching for a combination of possible future science and social responses…and maybe to in some small way, foresee or forewarn.

I genuinely hope we never live to see anything like this come to pass. But it’s great fiction, and thought provoking, none the less.

NOTE: Originally posted: March 2005 (recreated from my original mangled blogspot.com blog)

Comments on: "1984. Max Headroom. Brave New World. Time Machine. I Robot." (13)

  1. […] ut wakes up soon or we will be living in “1984 ” Insightmag.com: 1984” 1984. Max Headroom. Brave New World. Time Machine. I Robot. Blog-a-thon tag: EFF15 […]

  2. […] #8216; and subject it to the same penalties as more serious infringement offenses.” 1984 here we come … thought crimes to become reality in 2005? Oh, and it just gets better: Anyon […]

  3. […] 1984 here we come … thought crimes to become reality in 2005? […]

  4. […] Puts me in mind of the Ministry of Truth in the book 1984 — rewriting history to suit their current thinking: ”Who controls the past controls the future: who controls the present controls the past,” repeated Winston obediently. […]

  5. I didn’t specifically list it in this one but Farenheit 451 was actually much closer to what I was going for in this posting than Brave New World, and certainly closer to reality as it may well be unfolding, to the other books I mentioned: 1984, Max Headroom, Time Machine and I Robot.

    More information on Fraenheit 451 here:



    And of course here:


  6. […] Why do we even have a US Constitution and Bill of Rights when they are constantly being trodden under the feet of a government that even suggests such rulings as this and others that are so reminiscent of the horrible future in George Orwell’s 1984!?! […]

  7. […] I guess no one read or saw the Orwellian horrific future in the book/movie 1984, or Minority Report, or Manchurian Candidate….I guess we are supposed to just trust that the government and their corporate lobbyist buddies and the Justice Branch will keep the civil rights, freedoms and liberties of Citizens foremost in their minds, right? Nevermind, forget I mentioned it. […]

  8. […] The article also quotes the book 1984 by George Orwell: There was of course no way of knowing whether you were being watched at any given moment. How often, or on what system, the Thought Police plugged in on any individual wire was guesswork. It was even conceivable that they watched everybody all the time. But at any rate they could plug in your wire whenever they wanted to. You had to live — did live, from habit that became instinct — in the assumption that every sound you made was overheard, and, except in darkness, every movement scrutinized. […]

  9. […] really think so many today really need to read 1984 by George Orwell. It’s not a pretty sight, but it’s riveting and […]

  10. […] Phillip Pullman, the childrens’ author, continues in the article to talk about reality that are echos of the Orwellian 1984. […]

  11. […] article also quotes the book 1984 by George Orwell: There was of course no way of knowing whether you were being watched at any given […]

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